Patent filings fell in 2009 for the first time in 13 years, worrying Silicon Valley that it is losing its place as the leader in global innovation.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. innovation slowed this year for the first time in 13 years as the recession cut into budgets, and costs to protect inventions rose.
The number of patent filings in the United States fell 2.3% in 2009 to 485,500 from 496,886 last year, according to a preliminary estimate by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That makes 2009 the first year since 1996 in which businesses and inventors filed fewer patents year over year.
"That's unfortunate because [patent filings] are a reflection of innovation," said David Kappos, director of the Patent Office. "Innovation creates so many jobs and so much opportunity for our country. It is absolutely key to our long-term success in the global economy."
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